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OpenMarket: Trade and International

  • The Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act

    January 31, 2019
    This week Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act, which would reduce the president’s authority to unilaterally enact new tariffs by citing national security concerns. The Senate sponsors are Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). The Democratic co-sponsor in the House is Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).
  • VIDEO: Lower Shipping Costs, Repeal the Jones Act

    January 18, 2019
    The Jones Act, originally passed in 1920, is a law that requires ships that service U.S. ports to be entirely U.S. owned and operated. This protectionist measure unnecessarily increases costs on American consumers (and producers), especially in places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii, which depend on ocean-shipped cargo for much of their consumer goods.
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Trade

    January 18, 2019
    President Trump’s doubling of tariffs has already cost the economy almost 1.8 percentage points of growth. That means 2018’s 3.4 percent third quarter growth could have been 5.2 percent instead. If the economy veers into recession in the near future, President Trump’s trade policies will have played a major role. Congress needs to act as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Our trade policy recommendations follow four general themes that have bipartisan appeal—important in a newly divided Congress.
  • Brexit: The EU's Gordian Knot Strangles May's Government

    January 16, 2019
    When Rory Broomfield and I were examining the prospects for Britain leaving the European Union in 2014-16, we recognized that there was no easy way out. No off-the-shelf solution existed apart from the “Norway model,” which suffered from much the same problems that full membership of the EU inflicted upon Britain. Britain had become so entangled in the EU system that it amounted to a Gordian Knot incapable of being unraveled.
  • Reject U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act's Presidential Power Grab

    January 10, 2019
    A forthcoming bill, the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act, written by “Death by China” coauthor Peter Navarro and other presidential advisers, seeks to expand the president’s tariff-making powers. Its goal is to encourage Beijing to open China’s markets to U.S. producers. The White House is currently seeking cosponsors for the bill, and President Trump is expected to promote it during his upcoming State of the Union address.
  • What's on Tap for Trade in 2019

    January 3, 2019
    At noon today, the 116th Congress convened. Over at Fox Business, Iain Murray and I look at what the coming year has in store for the new Congress on trade. The two biggest items are the NAFTA/USMCA vote, which isn’t a big deal, and China, which is.
  • Best Books of 2018: Clashing over Commerce

    December 27, 2018
    Douglas Irwin’s magnum opus, published at the end of 2017, is already a classic. Given the prominent role trade is playing in politics right now, it is also very timely. At almost 700 pages, “Clashing over Commerce” looks intimidating. But once you start reading, it isn’t. Irwin tells a coherent story that spans generations, showcasing the prominent personalities in the great trade debate, their larger philosophical and economic arguments, and the legislation and policies they fought over. It hits on all levels.
  • Year in Review 2018: Trade Policy

    December 24, 2018
    2018 was the year in which President Trump began to implement his campaign promises of using tariffs to change America’s trade policy. The ostensible reason was to protect American jobs and industries. In so doing, the President jettisoned his party’s long-standing adherence to free-market principles. It appears that this is one of several changes that represent the beginnings of a political realignment that may well be global in nature.
  • Best Books of 2018: Factfulness

    December 20, 2018
    Think Julian Simon, Matt Ridley, and Steven Pinker’s data-driven optimism, mixed with Michael Shermer and Bryan Caplan’s awareness of human cognitive biases, as told by a kindly, avuncular Norwegian. The book reads easily, is visually savvy, and has a friendly, non-polemic tone.
  • Report from United Nations Climate Conference: Heckling the Hecklers

    December 11, 2018
    Katowice, Poland—“Le temps est mauvais,” an African delegate told a colleague as they wrapped themselves up against the early evening chill. The weather wasn’t as leaden and directionless as inside the twenty-fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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